Did Peter Rabbit Meet it’s High Expectations?

Julia Berry (12th), Reporter

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The highly anticipated movie Peter Rabbit, based on Beatrix Potter’s popular children’s book “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”, was released in U.S. theaters on February 9th, 2018. Although the trailer for this movie got negative reactions and the movie did not fully mirror the book, the movie itself (directed by Will Gluck) was funny and lively with just enough heart and soul.

The animated children’s movie with talking animals is much better than you might expect. All the well executed animation that brings these lively, fuzzy bunnies to life. A big part of the charm is although the rabbits are cute, the have a habit of getting into mischief. Peter Rabbit (James Corden) starts out as a jerk and is acting out as a way of grieving for his late parents. Nonetheless, Peter does end up mellowing out later on in the movie due to the sweet, animal-loving woman, Bea (Rose Byrne).

 

{SPOILER}
The movie opens with a prologue and quickly leads to Mr. McGregor (Sam Neill), the rabbit hating farmer, suddenly dropping dead in the middle of a rabbit chase. After his death, Mr. McGregor’s nephew, Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson) who was recently fired, finds himself the owner of the family farm. Initially, the thought of leaving his great city apartment and moving to the country is appalling and Thomas plans to sell it. But a needed change of scenery and the interest in his attractive neighbor Bea keeps him around. However, his own personal feelings about the various animals who have made the farm into their second home does not sit well with him and puts him at odds with both the local animals and his animal-loving neighbor. And when Peter realizes that he may have a rival for Bea’s affections, things get messy.

When James Corden was asked about channelling his inner bunny for this role, he said, “In the conversations I had with Will it was never about channeling an inner rabbit, it was mostly about how do we find a way to honor this Beatrix Potter character that is so beloved. How do we unlock this lovable, mischievous character that has been created in these beautiful books and honor it now in a film. I feel very fortunate to be able to work with a director and writer like Will who understands the legacy of that character and the world that it lives in and more than anything just wants to reintroduce him to so many young people who will hopefully leave the movie theater and go and discover these incredible books. I feel like an ever so slight fraud sitting between Domnhall Gleeson and Rose Byrne who are out there doing proper acting while I was able to just turn up in my pajamas and do this for a few hours at a time.”

All in all, Peter Rabbit is good, warm, kid-friendly, and fun. Although it is not completely aligned with the original book, it was a good, fun adaptation of it. The performances (including Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley and Elizabeth Debicki as Peter’s sisters) are great, there is just enough humor to make it charming and the human relationships keep us entertained along with the cute bunnies.

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Did Peter Rabbit Meet it’s High Expectations?